Wild Vibe: Amsterdam’s Jungle by Night Dropping Afrobeat-Inspired Electro-Funk with Tony Allen’s Approval. New single ‘El Miraglo tob e released July 2015
When Tony Allen, the drumming power behind the sound of the late and very great Fela Kuti, pronounces a band to be “the evolution of Afrobeat,” it’s got something special. That’s exactly how he described Jungle by Night.
The nine-piece powerhouse evolves the American and Nigerian roots of the music, folding in the beats and fierce attitudes of funk, hip-hop and EDM, guided by the wild soul of jazz and the raw energy of rock. They’ve teamed up with Afro-inspired DJs and club music instigators like LA’s Gaslamp Killer, Philly’s Rich Medina, and with originators such as Ghana highlife star Ebo Taylor, founder of Ethiojazz Mulatu Astatke and many more.
The nine souls in Jungle by Night were acquainted through school, street and family bonds.
A couple of years ago, the group seemed to be infected with a love for raw Africa oriented funk and retreated into the rehearsal studio. The band was invited to perform as the opening act at concerts of Mayer Hawthorne and The Roots & John Legend and soon they where invited to play Paris shows with godfathers Mulatu Astatke and Orchestre Poly-Ritmo de Cotonou. Since 2010 the band hosts the Dutch Felabrations with shows of a.o Seun Kuti, Mulatu Astatke a.o in the legendary venue Paradiso.
On their latest album The Hunt, a synth grabs the ear before a relentless groove takes hold and a trumpet solo that nods toward Bitches Brew roars to life. The production on “Cherokee” owes a debt to Jamaican dub, and “Desdemona” opens with a complex, jagged guitar riff that would sound perfectly at home on a Turkish Funk album, while their brandnew single ‘El Miraglo’brings you back to the Colombian psychedelic Cumbia sounds of the seventies.
This is the new funk, made up of countless flavors, determined in part by the scene the band came up in. Worldly influences aside, Afrodiasporic funk is still very much the core of the band’s sound. But whether the inspiration begins in Nigeria or Colombia, Jungle by night want one thing when they play live. To get everyone in the same mood. To have them all with that wild vibe.
Jungle by Night is: Pieter van Exter – tenor sax, Ko Zandvliet – trombone, Bo Floor – trompet, Jac van Exter – guitar, Pyke Pasman – keyboards, Peter Peskens – bass, Sonny Groeneveld – drums, Tienson Smeets – Djembe, Gino Groeneveld –congas